Managing When the Width is Long

Is there a price to pay when we spread ourselves to thin?

The Purpose of Ministry
To be in the ministry is to serve. The purpose of serving in the ministry or church mission is to encourage people to become followers of Jesus. We are in the people business. And that can be the rub in church life. People are involved and it is messy. I’m rereading with our staff Robert Coleman’s Master Plan of Evangelism. It is probably the best book on disciple making I have ever read. In the book one of the burning focus is on how Jesus ministered to the masses, but spent most of His time with the few, the twelve.

Andy Stanley is correct. “Life change best happens in circles, not rows.” The challenge is to get people in circles where life change can really happen.

Is it worth stretching our relational boundaries? In church life I often find myself trying to reach and please everyone. Yet it is hard when people do not even seem to care or help in relating to people. It is easier to play is safe. I feel obligated to take risks, but there is a reality.

A Look Back
The reality of ministry is we cannot do it all. It will not happen. Even Jesus did not reach and minister to everyone. And even He could not please everyone.

I went to DFW for Thanksgiving. I was blessed to see family. I had not been home for Thanksgiving in two years and needed to show the love. It was great. I went to see my parents in Granbury, then went to Ft. Worth to see my Grandmother. Then got to stay with a ministry mentor in Arlington. While in Arlington I got to do these things:

  • I got to see a special brother and his family who I served with on staff at a church 12 years ago. His family is from South America and are just beautiful people.
  • I got to see a brother’s father who was in the hospital after a stroke. I spent a few hours there talking preaching and ministry with the brother and his father as both are preachers. Sadly, but gloriously, the father went to be with the Lord.
  • I got to see another special  brother from another church I served in before coming to Ruidoso. He and his wife are just precious gems in the kingdom.
  • I got to see a brother from the church I served 12 years ago. It was great seeing him yet was hard as he is struggling physically and in his family life.
  • I got to see another brother and his wife from the church I served before coming to Ruidoso. We ate dinner with them and reminisced about doing door-to-door evangelism and made plans for a future golf game.

What’s the point? I got to see most of these friends in a span of 5 hours (except my friend in the hospital). In just a short time I got to see people who I invested in. I got to see fruit, spiritual fruit, that abides, in their lives.

Is it worth it to stretch thin? Is the balance of the few and the masses worth it?

A Look Forward
Yes it is worth it. The focus needs to be on the few. That’s what Jesus did. Yet even in the masses, and the drive to reach more and more people, which can be frustrating and hard, the effort is more than worth it. I plan to keep on keeping on trying to do all I can, while know when I cannot do it all. People are involved and they are worth it.

Walk with integrity and biblical purpose within biblical community.  There is always going to be people you cannot get to that you mean to but you cannot. There will be times when you can keep the fire burning on relationships. I do not do it because it is a job. I do it because it is my Lord. I have received and know the blessing is community.

What do you think?

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